Brake manufacturer Bendix has drawn attention to  the need to ensure truck braking systems are inspected maintained and always in good order.

The company says  that because of the demanding  operating conditions trucks have to encounter every day, it’s vital that the braking systems of heavy vehicles are regularly inspected says Bendix.

The company points out that drivers should also be aware of the symptoms of poorly performing brakes, this may include: pulling left or right when applying the brakes, vibrations including through the pedal, hard or low pedal feel, unusual noises on application or an illuminated brake warning light.

It says that professional drivers face many challenges throughout the course of their work as they juggle tight delivery schedules and guide their trucks through heavy traffic, often travelling on roads not designed for large vehicles.

The company adds that given the carrying capacity of trucks, especially in the heavier weight classes, their braking systems are critical. Many of these trucks will be operating at near full GVM which could be 20tonne for smaller rigs, through to well over 60tonne GCM in the case of B-Doubles.

These hefty weights mean that commercial vehicles take much longer to stop and unfortunately many motorists are ignorant of this, treating trucks in the same way as they would regular passenger vehicles. Cars cutting in front of trucks on the approach to traffic lights or at T intersections are common gripes that professional drivers have because they can lead to dangerous braking situations.

Bendix points out that data from Transport NSW indicates that a B-double travelling at just 40 kph can take up to 44 metres to stop; if travelling at 60 kph, that same truck would need approximately 90 metres to come to a standstill. In comparison, a car travelling at 40 kph needs around 27 metres to stop, or if travelling at 60 kph, around 56 metres is needed.

Bendix says that things to check for include: Ensuring brake fluid levels are correct and changed at OEM-specified intervals. inspecting brake pads, rotors and calipers for wear or damage, checking brake shoes and drums for wear, damage and adjustment. check brake lines and air hoses to ensure there are no kinks, perished rubbers or other damage, ensuring that brake components are properly lubricated to prevent corrosion and to provide free operation and ensuring clean brake components to remove corrosion and debris build-up as required

The company recommends that if consumables do need replacing, it offers an extensive range covering light, medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles and trailing stock, as well as buses and coaches.  It says that available products include disc brake pads, brake shoe kits and its special heavy-duty ProTrans HD disc brake pads, designed for extreme applications.

Bendix claims range-wide advantages of ProTrans include improved surface technology, high temperature resistance and reduced wear rates which all contribute to reliable and high-performance braking as well as reduced running costs. A further benefit of the range it says  is reduced brake noise, while mechanics and workshops will also appreciate the easy installation aspects of the product.

Bendix says its adoption of high-quality friction materials  is at the heart of its range, which are essential to meet the braking requirements of modern commercial vehicles, claiming that the pads provide a strong, predictable friction level regardless of the temperature, speed or axle load.

The company also claims there’s also titanium bedding-in technology to ensure a positive pedal feel right from new.

Bendix says it understands the enormous forces in play when heavy vehicles brake under load and have developed products that have been extensively tested in Australia’s most difficult operating environments to meet these needs. The range also meets ECE Regulation 90 (ECE-R90). This measure specifies the design, construction, performance requirements and test protocols for strict European regulations, this includes testing for braking capabilities, speed sensitivity, cold performance and other parameters.

For even higher demand applications such as agitator and compactor work, or inner-city bus routes with frequent start and stop cycles, Bendix says it also offers ProTrans HD disc brake pads. This range features a heavy-duty formulation designed to cope with the elevated temperatures found during constant braking conditions and under full GVM.

it says that a further benefit of ProTrans HD disc brake pads are their low wear performance, leading to extended servicing intervals. And for convenience and ease of installation, all required hardware is included in each kit, making them ‘ready-to-fit’ for technicians.

The company says the performance values of its ProTrans range extends to its brake shoe kits, which are manufactured to the highest quality standards in a IATF 16949 and QS9000-accredited facility.

Benefits of the kits include electro hardened journal ends, indented webbing for additional strength and steel rivets. For greater performance and extended drum life, each shoe is radius ground after riveting / bonding. The range also meets or exceeds the performance characteristics of industry leading OE shoes.

For convenience and ease of fitment, all ProTrans brake shoe kits include all required components such as springs, pins, retainers and rollers.